(With repeated and heartfelt apologies to Laura Numeroff. This is the last one, I swear.)
"And when you do, chances are… You'll end up giving the ferret some fudge." So ended my tale, conveyed to Sarah via text message. I was planning to post it to the blog, but couldn't wait to share it with my best friend. It added up to a wall of text I could have used to defend a city, filling up my phone's tiny screen as it scrolled on and on. I anxiously awaited her feedback.
Given the size of the text message, I waited a long time. "Wow," she said eventually. "That's kind of dark and awesome."
"Someone had checked out a stack of Numeroff books," I explained, "and I was like, 'What is this woman's obsession with giving her pets people food? Doesn't she know it's bad for them?' And the story came out of my mouth, fully formed, as patrons and coworkers looked on, so I had to write it down."
"That's a valid point I hadn't considered. I always saw them as allegorical, cautionary tales about toddler attention spans," said Sarah.
"I'm sure that's how they're intended," I said. "Of course, it looks an awful lot like my own attention span..."
Another wall of text followed:
If you give Tori a task, she'll feel responsible and set out to do it.
While she's working on it, a new patron will want a library card. They'll need help finding a book.
While Tori's helping them, she'll see the messy shelves and stop to fix them. Some of the books she finds will belong in nonfiction, so she'll take them to the shelving cart.
The carts will be full, so she'll decide to do some shelving.
While she's shelving, she'll find books that need repair. She'll go fix those.
At the repair desk, she'll see new books that need processing. She'll get to work.
One of the new books will look interesting, so Tori will want to add it to her list of books to read. The list is online, so she'll go back to her computer.
At her computer, she'll find the library card application she was typing up, and when she does, chances are...
She'll remember the task you gave her to start with!
"That's about right," said Sarah.